Goodbye, MSN TV. Microsoft Finally Pulls the Plug

msn-tvThe first time I actually saw someone using this service was when I went up north. We ate at this awesome steakhouse , which probably was on its last couple years in business (two brothers owned it and they were in their 70s). In the corner, one of the brothers’ wives were typing away on the MSN TV, trying to find out what was going on in the world (pre-2001).

The little box that was known as MSN TV finally got decommissioned today – 16 years after it started. Microsoft announced earlier in the year the TV appliance would be shuttered on Sept 30th. Users had to move their account information to Outlook.com and all other information to Skydrive (Microsoft’s cloud service).

MSN TV first started as Web TV in July of 1995 by Steve Perlman, Bruce Leak and Phil Goldman. The idea was Web TV acted like a thin client – taking snapshots of the web and sending them over telephone lines to your device, which would then project on your TV. It officially launched in Sept 1996 and ran for a year when Microsoft announced they were acquiring the service for $453 million (vested).

MSN TV tried to find its place in the tech world. The WebTV team took their ideas and created not only Digital Video Recorders, but also the XBox 360 game console. Its hardware could be found in Sony, Philips, RCA, Mitsubishi and other client hardware.

So with that, we bid adieu to MSN TV. the last of the real dial-up systems.

Will You Leave Facebook If Privacy Issues Don’t Change?

Facebook Logo

Facebook Logo

I went searching for a buddy on my Facebook profile. It wasn’t there. I searched and searched, but couldn’t find him. I caught him on Twitter and asked where he went. He told me that he deleted his Facebook profile due to all the privacy issues. I was not surprised – With all the issues that Facebook has seen in the last couple months, I could see why he did.

He was not alone. I have heard of a few social mediates also reducing their usage, if not nixing their Facebook profile. I definitely think about what I post on my wall and send in my message area. I delete those that post a game or other application on my wall and I don’t post anything that can be considered “Private” – Basically, try to keep the profile as clean as possible.

Recent privacy issues with Facebook make one realize that your online data could be open to users within a heartbeat. We hear about someone finding a vulnerability, usually after the problem was fixed. Too many in a small amount of time, and we have a crisis where the FTC might have to step in.

No different than in years past…

Whether it’s Facebook, MySpace, email, websites or whatever, people try to get in and people test the limits. I just put up a Wiki site. I put on certain privacies, but within a week, someone found a new way to get through. They posted jibberish sites – nothing that would be malware, which I could easily correct. I fixed the hole and moved on.

Facebook is the site that is under fire because everyone has a profile. At least over 400 million users. In comparison, the US population is at 307 million, over 6 Billion around the world. Heck, my mom is on Facebook.

These are people that might not be tech Savvy. They don’t understand how the site works and they don’t care. They just want to connect with friends and family. They may have heard the rambling about privacy and some may have taken heed, but most haven’t and are not upset with them right now – until their profile is infiltrated.

MySpace, AOL, GeoCities

Remember when we were all on MySpace? Remember when you switched to Facebook? Did you delete your MySpace profile, or do you still check it randomly?

Back in 2007, when MySpace was king, we had different types of privacy issues. The big issue was online predators. Sex offenders on the social network site set one raid to remove over 350 profiles from MySpace.

AOL had many privacy issues in the early years. 1998, we heard of how people found back doors to the “Walled Garden”. GeoCities was under fire for selling personal information. They settled with the FTC just days before they set their first IPO. Business before privacy?

Twitter, Friendfeed, MSN, Compuserve, BBS – These all have had privacy issues at one time. As a site grows, the bad guys realize it can become a great portal to try and take down or get someone’s money. They strike, the site counter-strikes – The battle continues. Rinse and repeat.

Step in the FTC

Privacy issues have escallated to the point where Facebook hired former Bush regulator Tim Muris to defend the social network and it’s privacy problems to the FTC. Of course, if you have a product that is 400 million strong, you definitely will have scrutiny. Regulation is there to protect. Whether the government should step in for regulation might be a whole other topic. Add in the fact that some of those Facebook profiles are non- US citizens; The rules get different.

So is it different, or just the same old?

Privacy is a big issue on the Internet. Whether it’s getting your email hacked or finding a back door on a social network. We don’t want our personal information in the wrong hands. But we also want to connect to the people we care about. In all reality, Facebook is working on their issues. If you leave Facebook for privacy, you might want to just leave the Internet altogether.

So when is too much? Are you thinking of or have you deleted your Facebook profile?

GNC-2007-02-20 #243

Extremely late Podcast from Jacksonville Florida, I cover my ordeal with United and what has been happening the past 4 days including some rapid fire tech stories.

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Listener Links:
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Show Notes:
Dirty Bomb Cleanup Technology
Deep Impact
LCD Versus BB Gun
HDMI Cables
Monitoring Domain Searches
Homeless by Choice
APOD
XM and Sirius
10 Linux Commands
Banned Digg Sites
Charter Sad Tech Support
Balmer and Vista
MSN Digg Site
Worst Workspace
Jobs Blast Teachers and Unions
Apple Patches Bugs
Firefox has Bug
Sony PS3 Movie Offering
MPAA Hypocrites
Sat Launch